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Campaign 2020

National Security Highlights from the Ninth Democratic Debate

On Wednesday, NBC News and MSNBC hosted the ninth debate of the 2020 Democratic primary campaign, moderated by Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Hallie Jackson, Vanessa Hauc and Jon Ralston. We’ve combed through the transcript from the debate to present the national security-related exchanges. These excerpts are organized both thematically and chronologically.

A complete transcript is available from NBC News here.


The Lawfare Podcast: Brendan Nyhan on the Empirical Effects of Disinformation

This week on Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Brendan Nyhan, a professor of political science at Dartmouth University. We talk a lot about the crisis of falsehoods circulating online, but Nyhan’s work focuses on empirical research on what the effects of disinformation and misinformation actually are. And he’s found that those effects might play less of a role in political discourse than you’d think—or at least not quite in the way you might think.


The Lawfare Podcast Bonus Edition: Jessica Stern on Radovan Karadzic

Jessica Stern, who served on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, has a remarkable skill: she interviews really bad people, and she writes about them in really interesting ways. She spent quite a bit of time interviewing Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic, who is serving a life sentence at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague for genocide in connection with the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s.


Rational Security: The 'Should He Stay or Should He Go' Edition

Bill Barr says that Trump’s tweets make his job more difficult, and he has considered resigning over them. But Trump is still tweeting and Barr is still the attorney general, so…? Also, the U.S. charges Chinese telecom giant Huawei with conspiracy and racketeering. And European leaders are bracing for a second Trump term, and a redefined relationship with America.

Campaign 2020

The 2020 Presidential Candidates Stay (Mostly) Quiet on Law Enforcement Independence

Democratic candidates for president have spent relatively little time discussing Justice Department independence on the campaign trail—in contrast to the first post-Watergate presidential election, when Jimmy Carter made rule-of-law reforms a major campaign issue.


The Lawfare Podcast: Andrew Bacevich on 'The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory'

In what ways did American foreign policy fail to capitalize on victory in the Cold War? Andrew Bacevich, professor emeritus at Boston University and co-founder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, tackles that question and more in "The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory." Jack Goldsmith sat down with Professor Bacevich to talk about his new book. The pair discussed the establishment consensus on American foreign policy, the state of civil-military relations, and the mission of the newly founded Quincy Institute.

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